Socio-material directions for developing empirical research on children’s e-reading: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the literature across disciplines

Kucirkova, Natalia (2020). Socio-material directions for developing empirical research on children’s e-reading: A systematic review and thematic synthesis of the literature across disciplines. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy (Online First).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468798418824364

Abstract

This review integrates literature on cross-disciplinary quantitative and qualitative studies related to children’s reading on screen published between January 2016 and September 2017, with a focus on the researchers’ epistemological perspectives on knowledge and learning. Johri’s (2011) framework of socio-material assemblages, which synthesises epistemological dualities, is used to examine the ways in which researchers conceptualise children’s learning with digital books. The review shows that extant empirical studies map directly onto the social part of Johri’s framework (examination of child and adult variables and behavioural characteristics) and onto the material aspects of children’s digital books (examination of books’ contents and features). Only theoretical studies pay equal attention to social and material aspects in their conceptualisation of children’s reading on screen. Overall, it is recommended that in addition to cross-disciplinary and multiple methods, researchers consider socio-material assemblages to advance the field. A socio-material perspective could address time and space shifts in children’s reading on screen and might provide a springboard for future epistemological developments within the field.

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